Thursday, May 6, 2010
What 1 teacher can do...
Just Another 20 Something here... thinking about education. In high school i was a low to average level student. i never truly applied myself, and i NEVER did homework. i was kicked out of Sunny Hills in 2000 for lack of credits (or because i didn't make the grades they wanted). when i was kicked out i was in a very strange point in my life. I was hanging with the wrong crowd, i had started to use drugs, and i was severely depressed. I was making a lot of the wrong choices in my life. that is until i got into La Vista.
La Vista was a whole different ball game! the students were there because they wanted to be instead of because you had to. No on forced you to do homework, actually homework was a privilege in that school. The teachers and the administration REALLY CARED about its students and wanted them to succeed. Most of us were the black sheep of our schools, but here they made us feel welcome. i was lucky enough to find some great friends and my amazing boyfriend while i was there. I also found the best teacher i have ever had the pleasure of being in her class. Mrs. Rafferty!
She was one of the English teachers, and she truly affected my life!!! i was in a very unstable section of my life and she brought balance to it. My first day there she looked at me and asked me what i was doing here. i didn't know how to answer the question, Lazy, bored, the school hated me? She looked me dead in the eyes and told me... Katie you will succeed!! i didn't think that would affect me much, but it did. Mrs. Raff helped me become a good student and encouraged me to succeed in my life!!
She also introduced me to Mr. Man! i will always remember this story! its was a day close to the end of the year, and most of us were finishing up all of our work. Mr. Man sat in front of me in Raff's class, and I would do ANYTHING to talk to him (he use to barrow my purple pen, i made sure to ALWAYS have one). One day he turned around and we started chatting. Next thing i knew Raff was right there behind us. We figured she was going to nag us for talking, but being the great teacher she is. she surprised us both! She stopped, turned and said to Mr. Man, "Corey, you don't have a girlfriend anymore do you?" he answered "No" then she turned to me and said "Katie, you don't have a boyfriend either?" i returned "No" i could feel my face turn a shade of red to a shade of purple. "Oh, well then you go ahead and keep talking." She just smiled laughed and turned around.
I swear i thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest! i was extremely embarrassed, but now i will one day get to tell my kids the story of how we met, and how that may not have happened without the help of Mrs. Raff. Yesterday i found Mrs. Rafferty on FB Thanks to another one of my other favorite teachers Mrs. KO who is retiring this year! ( KO you have made a generation of kids who love drama and art and a women that speaks her own, We love you too) I got to finally write her the letter that i have been saving for years!
I got to tell her how much she truly affected my life and that i don't know if i would have made it to junior college let alone American University! i also got to invite her to my wedding which never would have happened if it wasn't for her!!! She said shes coming!!! so that was a great moment for me!
Today i leave you with a thought about teachers. Did you have a teacher that made a difference in your life? how would your life have changed if they weren't involved in it? What did they teach you and do you think it still has an effect on your life now?
"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau , Sometimes poking you with the sharp stick called 'truth'" -- Dan Rather